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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
As promised a SPOLIER heavy look at the Empire DOS Issue, needless to say those 'appendices' are more detailed then I remeber...
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Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Jun 28 2013, 2:47pm

Post #226 of 253 (649 views)
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Could you please clarify what you mean by "dealt with"? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
One is that what we have seen so far is a fall from grace after the LOTR movies. This has been dealt with recently by a long standing member who indicated those films drew the same kind of criticisms that the current series are.


If you mean that it's now case-closed, I beg to differ. I feel there is legitimate criticism due AUJ when comparing Jackson's treatment of The Hobbit as opposed to his treatment of LOTR, ESPECIALLY since he's otherwise gone well out of his way to make clear that his take on TH is meant to be looked at as a prequel to LOTR instead of as a distinct story. For one thing, Jackson's LOTR may have rewritten a few characters' personalities (Faramir and Denethor come to mind), condensed/combined a few characters (like Arwen/Glorfindel, Eomer/Erkenbrand) or even out-right omitted characters (Bombadil, Ghan-buri-Ghan, Imrahil, Halbarad, etc...), but I don't recall Jackson's LOTR adding in characters that had nothing to do with the story whatsoever and giving them entirely made-up subplots (Azog, Radagast, Tauriel). Also, it's a pretty clear difference in visual aesthetic this time around, with sugary colors and pin-ball machine physics taking the place of realistic-looking sets and real-life physics (Legolas' exploits aside). I'm not bashing anyone who is okay with this, I'm glad for them that they can get past it without seeing anything disappointing about it. But there are legitimate criticisms to be made when comparing what we've seen thus far of this trilogy and the previous trilogy.


(This post was edited by Salmacis81 on Jun 28 2013, 2:57pm)


sador
Half-elven


Jun 28 2013, 2:51pm

Post #227 of 253 (641 views)
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Of course, [In reply to] Can't Post

You mean "earliest" as "referring to the chronological earliest time". Thranduil is named twice in The Fellowship of the Ring.

According to Unfinished Tales, he also became king only at the beginning at the Third Age, after his father Oropher was slain. You naturally knew that, but it is likely that someone who has read appendix B but not UT will assume that he was born in the First Age.
For instance, Robert Foster in his Complete Guide to Middle-earth, which was published before UT.

'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 28 2013, 3:39pm

Post #228 of 253 (635 views)
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Yes, that is what I meant [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the clarification. And yes, I was (silently) relying in part on the statement in UT that Thranduil did not become king until the Third Age, I suppose. But even without that information, I don't see any reason to assume that he was necessarily born in the FIrst Age rather than early in the Second.

Do you know if Foster makes any revision on this point in the edition of the Complete Guide that was revised after UT was released? (Believe it or not, I have never so much as glanced at an version of Foster's book, nor had much desire to do so.)

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


sador
Half-elven


Jun 28 2013, 3:55pm

Post #229 of 253 (641 views)
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No, I do not. [In reply to] Can't Post

Foster's book was my first about Tolkien, which I've bought together with the Silmarillion, over twenty-five years ago. Two years ago, when we moved to our new flat, I found it in one of the boxes, after maybe a decade of not looking to it. I sometimes check there, as it was probably the source of some of my prejudiced readings ever since...Wink
I didn't know there was an updated version until NEB mentioned it in passing in an old discussion - and I've never seen that book, either.

'But my father loves them,' said Túrin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people; and he says that the Men that have lately come over the Mountains are little better than Orcs.'
'That is true,' answered Sador; 'true at least of some of us. But the up-climbing is painful, and from high places it is easy to fall low.'

Who was right?
Join us in the Reading Room, for the discussion of Of the Coming of Men into the West, beginning on June 9!


Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Jun 28 2013, 4:10pm

Post #230 of 253 (604 views)
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Drifting but fascinating [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey I am a 57 year old adult. I do not read children's books but I am quite capable of understanding the aesthetic of a children's book. When my first grand son was born with in days my daughter was asking if I wanted to read him the book. I would love to, just I like I read it to her and saw the wonder of the book through her eyes, But that's completely beside the point.

The point is the LOTR is a very successful series of films for all ages, but is adult centric. PJ & Co are taking the Hobbit materials and reimagining them for the same audience . Your key objection, and correct me if I am wrong, is that the films should be a companion of the book and be children centric and be based exclusively on Bilbo's episodic journey.

I do not think JRRT was or was not a pedant he said he was a pedant about his work. If he was I am glad he was, that I suspect is why they are so believable. I will say this I do not read fantasy novels. I get that a large number of people here are into fantasy as a genre I am not. My last few reads have been Auel, Dumas and Clavell.

One of the reasons I like this site in principle, though often not in practice, is I get the chance to exchange with others who have a life long passion for Tolkien's books and I get to see what they look like in artistic and literary terms. In the sixties the hippy generation adopted Tolkien and he ended up being an icon for a good deal of the counter culture and music of the time. Barclay James Harvest, Led Zeppelin and Bo Hanson all wrote songs and in the latter case whole albums about Tolkien's work.

My impression of the current generation is that Tolkien is seen as part of a fantasy genre comic con etc and those interested in fantasy like Tolkien.

Profiling like that lead to people shutting themselves out, many of the people I spoke to in NZ in January know about the experiences of the filming from hosting various actors but they aren't the slightest bit interested in the fantasy genre and dismiss Tolkien as such. That's a shame what makes Tolkien so unusual is it is so believable and I am sure you have read On Fairy Stories where he sets out his view of what myth really is.

Put simply Tolkien is currently considered a fantasy writer personally I think its more akin to historical romance like Haggard and Kipling and that's how I approach it and that is why the re imagined Hobbit intrigues me. I think what I have seen of the woodland elves (and I have only seen stills) encourages that notion. The Dwarves of AUJ are tough uncouth miners, tinkers and warriors just because they are in the diminutive people go oh that is fantasy that's to miss the point.

Consider the amazing conversation in one of the last two History of Middle Earth books between an Elf Lord and Lady of the first three kindreds of men, that is a deeply philosophical conversation about the nature of death it is not fantasy at all. So my Tolkien is less about fantasy and fairy tale and more historical romance, so for the Hobbit to be less fairy tale and more historical romance, more geo political and more about real characters personal journeys is just fine.

Bilbo is a ordinary bloke with two sides to his personality catapulted out of his comfort zone.

Thorin is weighed down by the homeless nation he leads, fear of repeating his forbears, grief, and the burden of a peoples expectation.

Gandalf is a Christ like figure who has come amongst us to encourage an outcome but if he is going to stay true to the role given to him in Aman he must use his power with great discretion and only at a pinch and act more as a catalyst. The temptation particularly, as a ring bearer, must have been intense to take the short cut as Saruman did..

For me this is what the first film is about and will be developed a good deal in DOS. Now to have their journeys they need an exotic setting and that is all Erebor, Dol Gulder and Mirkwood are. Just as Azog, Bolg, Smaug and the Necromancer are just their so we can see how these three characters play up against various forms of the fallen and test them in either straight forward ways the first two and more interesting ways the latter two. You and know that all three by the end of LOTR will pay the ultimate price but what makes it interesting is to see how they make their mark as they go along.

Initially I went to see AUJ and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I know why I did and I can also see why others did not and I thank you for your observations because I can see why it did not meet your expectations.

There is another type of dissenter the one that gets fixated on one or two matters. The odd bit of vulgarity or the stone giants that is shame because even for those people there is so much to enjoy. Obviously if one wanted models rather than CGI one is left high and dry. If one wanted strict adherence to the book your out to lunch. Most people now should be getting close to knowing whether they are broadly in favour or not. I am fairly confident that those that were not keen on PJ's visions for the first six chapters will strongly dislike the next six.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 28 2013, 4:16pm

Post #231 of 253 (617 views)
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Foster's 'The Complete Guide to Middle-earth' [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Do you know if Foster makes any revision on this point in the edition of the Complete Guide that was revised after UT was released? (Believe it or not, I have never so much as glanced at an version of Foster's book, nor had much desire to do so.)



There is an updated edition, but I do not possess it. I mean to acquire it before too long. And, yes, this is where I obtained Thranduil's probable birthdate. There is nothing in Unfinished Tales though that contradicts the idea that Thranduil was born either in the First Age or early in the Second.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


KW
Rivendell

Jun 28 2013, 4:26pm

Post #232 of 253 (687 views)
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"adult version" [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't entirely agree. Maybe the tone seems more adult but the substance seems like a step back. Unlike Bumblingidiot I first read the book as an adult and like yourself I didn't find it terribly compelling on the surface. But what more than redeems it for me is the way Tolkien avoids certain conventions in the way that BumblingIdiot describes. I think it is pretty important that the dwarves do not fight Smaug. Their tremendous lack of heroism and the mess it creates for others is one of the more sophisticated aspects of Tolkien's story. It bothers Jackson that they didn't get to fight Smaug? Isn't that sort of the point? Their shameless passing the buck is supposed to bother you. Yes they are hardy fighters but they are also indifferent and sometimes incompetent. Tolkien shows you both the strengths and the limitations of the values they bring in. They have their moments of greatness but they also have very humiliating moments as well like the barrel escape (which has now evidently been turned into a titillating fight scene). Not having a standard hero vs villain framework or the Sauron plotline to define them, the characters are more free to be the focus of the story and to act in slightly ambiguous ways. And Tolkien is inviting the reader to critically examine their behavior. That sort of conflict is much more adult to me than the corny villain they have inserted into the story or turning every scene into spectacular action sequences. The book is not perfect by any means but it seems like Jackson is throwing away the particular features that do raise it up rather than improving upon them.

I admit this is prejudging but it is hard not to see a trend emerging.


emre43
Rohan

Jun 28 2013, 4:39pm

Post #233 of 253 (596 views)
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I can't argue with that. Well said [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jun 28 2013, 4:54pm

Post #234 of 253 (586 views)
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Well said [In reply to] Can't Post

but thats just the sort of thing jackson doesnt seem to care much about, the more sophisticated or subtle aspects of the hobbit....

He enjoys spectacle and action scene after action acene..Its not just a trend, its a fetaure of his style and priorities when adapting TH to the big screen...

Trollshaws with action scenes
Before rivendell, more action
Barrel ride extravaganza with flying barrels with enormously heavy dwarves smashing hordes of orcs
Laketown with Orcs
Dragon vs Dwarves epic fight

This trend is really exhasperating and tiring.Unsure

But he seems to be "enjoying " it...

Vous commencez à m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


adnan
Rivendell


Jun 28 2013, 5:15pm

Post #235 of 253 (586 views)
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Yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

The movie has to throw action/excitement in there regularly for the general audiences not to be bored out of their minds. Let's face it, the movie needs them to be on board more than the fans for it to be called a financial success....this is business after all. That said, I was happy with the balance P.J had in AUJ; the first hour was mainly the non-action bits most 'fans' enjoyed...the rest of it was more fast-paced excitement, and nods to the book as well...Stone giants, Riddles etc...

P.J is doing a good job in my opinion and I have no doubt the next two films will be epic in both scale & heart!

Rivendell


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 28 2013, 5:16pm

Post #236 of 253 (566 views)
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A short response Michelle... [In reply to] Can't Post

...because as I find so often with your posts you have said all that needs to be! I agree with your synopsis, as well as how the film team I think has managed to capture and showcase the essence of the philosophical conflicts JRRT was writing about; some of this involves expanding the story so that a visual tale can be told. In our Dwarves he has created memorable characters (an excellent singular accomplishment) but more importantly highlighted a previously overlooked race, who inherit a legacy of pain and obstacles due to their very creation. I think that shows. And I agree wholeheartedly that I, like you, cannot profile, pigeonhole or think in black and white terms in either praise or condemnation.

TH of course was created before the larger legendarium of LOTR. Not initially intended to stand with it, the ring itself became the bridge connecting the times. Would he have changed it in retrospect a bit, made its voice a bit darker, a bit more weighty? He may have, as his own words often say. In no way is that a criticism of TH; just a point that as it retroactively inherited, as it were, weight from LOTR I am glad to see some of that weight onscreen.

In short - thanks for the post! AngelicSmile

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


KW
Rivendell

Jun 28 2013, 5:33pm

Post #237 of 253 (556 views)
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Isn't that like [In reply to] Can't Post

over salting the food to cover up the blandness of the dish? This is almost like an abdication of one's duties as a storyteller.There are other means to make a story interesting than just constant action especially if the film is supposedly aimed at adults. It seems like a contradiction to call a work more mature and then claim its audience needs constant spectacles to hold their interest.

And I do appreciate that a lot of readers are bored to tears by Tolkien which would present a problem. :) I'm just questioning the solution.


(This post was edited by KW on Jun 28 2013, 5:35pm)


Glorfindela
Valinor


Jun 28 2013, 5:36pm

Post #238 of 253 (564 views)
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Eloquent post, Michelle – thank you for the insight. [In reply to] Can't Post

And I agree that those who strongly disliked AUJ will definitely not like the next two films.

I love AUJ myself. I am, however, somewhat disappointed with the current emphasis on two made-up characters, and hope that the core of the story, complete with the characters that ARE in the book, will be dealt with in a major way in the next two films.

I also do not want to 'look forward' to the next film too much – if one does this one is often very disappointed. Really, I would prefer to go and see the film with no preconceptions or expectations at all, but this will probably not be possible now…


In Reply To
Initially I went to see AUJ and thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I know why I did and I can also see why others did not and I thank you for your observations because I can see why it did not meet your expectations.

There is another type of dissenter the one that gets fixated on one or two matters. The odd bit of vulgarity or the stone giants that is shame because even for those people there is so much to enjoy. Obviously if one wanted models rather than CGI one is left high and dry. If one wanted strict adherence to the book your out to lunch. Most people now should be getting close to knowing whether they are broadly in favour or not. I am fairly confident that those that were not keen on PJ's visions for the first six chapters will strongly dislike the next six.



KW
Rivendell

Jun 28 2013, 5:51pm

Post #239 of 253 (556 views)
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Hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Simplifying here but I kind of think of art in the broad sense as a sort of reverse engineering. We peer beneath the surface of our perceptions and then use art for our own benefit to figure out what is "true" to our experiences and also to share those truths. The fact that a work is intended to communicate to a child does not mean that work is unworthy of respect as art.

So Jackson has decided to make the movies more "adult" but has he enlarged Tolkien's themes to make them more adult or challenging? His work seems indulgent in a way that Tolkien would never allow himself even when writing for children. Not to paint the films entirely in poor light. I think there are performances and artistic flourishes that really are quite excellent like the bit about Bilbo's fear of being left behind. And Jackson's entire "vision" remains to be seen in full. And based on your post your answer would appear to be that yes he does raise the material to an adult level in a satisfying way.

I admit that the problem of adaptation is probably more complicated than many will accept. How can any artist mimic the guiding vision of another? And if that is not realistically possible how can they adapt the artist's work without just superficial copying? It seems to me that the original work becomes the subject and so the adapter can be forgiven for significant alterations. But the audience is free to judge how perceptive the resulting work is and the effectiveness of those alterations. When people here do make criticisms of changes most of the time I don't think it is simply objection to changes as changes. Also one oddity in the discussion is that when the critics disliked the movie you had some fans seeming to argue that their opinions were invalid because they weren't true Tolkien aficionados. You can see how that would incite fans who dislike the movies to make Tolkien comparisons in order to bolster their criticisms.


AncalagontheBlack
Rohan

Jun 28 2013, 6:27pm

Post #240 of 253 (532 views)
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PJ approach [In reply to] Can't Post

My impression of PJ and co is that they are both in love with the stories of Tolkien and his extensive world building which actually proceeded the stories. If you read the Hobbit and LotR, clearly there are elements in the Hobbit that Tolkien drew from his great legendarium but only in brief sketches. The Hobbit reads much more as a series of events on fantastical journey of an unassuming childlike figure who learns to step out the smaller world he lives into the great wide world and adventure with Dwarves, Elves, Wizards, Dragons and such.

LotR is much more of an spic story that concludes of an era of the world before man's dominance and setting of the sun on the magical and faerie and the ascension of man as inheritor of all that has come before. It was clear after Tolkien wrote LotR and used elements and characters that were contained in, the stories tied together. We know he attempted to rewrite it and eventually rewrote Riddles in the Dark. He covered the motivations of Gandalf in the Appendices of Return of the King and that Smaug was a much greater threat than a foil for the Dwarves. I think he gave up on the rewrite because the story would have been close to what we are seeing from PJ and company and not the child's story he originally published but he still used the Appendices to tie it together.

Tolkien wouldn't have spent so much time attempting to rewrite the Hobbit and used the Appendices to tie them together unless he wasn't completely happy with how they fit into his greater mythology. IMHO Tolkien seems more the creator of languages and builder of myth than spinner of tales. I think the latter for him may have served only to enrich the legendarium he created. Just as the Children Of Hurin give a more personal accounting and texture to the history of the First Age, the Hobbit and the LotR give real weight to the closing of his mythology.

I think PJ and co. created to the best of their ability Tolkien's world visually and emotionally in the adaptation of the LotR and that drives how they are adapting the Hobbit. I don't think they are dismissive of the Hobbit simplistic depth but I think they also realize the Hobbit as is does not fit neatly into Tolkien's greater world. A conclusion many would argue Tolkien himself had come to. I love Tolkien's legendarium as much as I love LotR or the Hobbit so for me personally, I am glad he is broadening the story to be inclusive of the greater world and history that the Hobbit was set in. I am not happy with all the changes to the history such as Azog but I am happy they took this approach with the movies.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Jun 28 2013, 9:44pm

Post #241 of 253 (513 views)
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If I may. [In reply to] Can't Post

''The point is the LOTR is a very successful series of films for all ages, but is adult centric. PJ & Co are taking the Hobbit materials and reimagining them for the same audience . Your key objection, and correct me if I am wrong, is that the films should be a companion of the book and be children centric and be based exclusively on Bilbo's episodic journey.''

No. that is not my chief objection.
First of all I dont believe for one moment that Jackson is re-imagining the Hobbit films for adults, I believe he is re-imagining them mostly for the teenage market, as he has sometimes alluded to on occasion. These films have the superficial trappings of an adult tone but scratch the surface its mostly gloss to please short attention spans. Everything is spelled out, nothing is left to the 'adult' mind to figure out. Its spoonfed to us as if our tiny brains cant wait for the next installment. ie in Bagend we are 'shown' Sting before that iconic sword is found by Gandalf in the Troll cave, its a duh whats that? moment. Our tiny brains cant wait to meet Thranduil in his palace, we are 'shown' him in the intro, another duh who he? moment. I dont belive the films should be necesarily children centric either, thats rather narrow a focus, I would say the films should rather be 'childlike' not childish, but childish is what it is in many places. from the modern gross out humour, and the mind numbingly banal dialogue. Yes I do think the film should be based on Bilbos journey. Its called the Hobbit for a reason.


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Jun 28 2013, 9:50pm

Post #242 of 253 (509 views)
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I agree, but I feel AUJ is quite guilty of this too... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I am, however, somewhat disappointed with the current emphasis on two made-up characters, and hope that the core of the story, complete with the characters that ARE in the book, will be dealt with in a major way in the next two films.


With regards to the trilogy as a whole, I feel that the "superfluous character arcs" line has already been crossed with the shoehorning in of both Radagast and Azog - both of them combined were mentioned 2 or 3 times in the story, and neither had an active role whatsoever. Radagast bothers me less, because he at least was alive during TH, unlike Fork-hand. Legolas, on the other hand, I don't mind being included. I don't want much emphasis placed on him, but him being in the film makes sense due to the fact that the story passes through his homeland, a homeland his dad just happens to be king of. I'm not really looking forward to Tauriel, but I'll wait and see how much she's actually used. AUJ was a 7 out of 10 for me - not awful by any means, but not nearly what I was expecting. I'm not expecting much more or much less from DoS or TaBA.


(This post was edited by Salmacis81 on Jun 28 2013, 9:52pm)


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jun 29 2013, 6:57am

Post #243 of 253 (470 views)
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Very astute observations. Well said. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I don't entirely agree. Maybe the tone seems more adult but the substance seems like a step back. Unlike Bumblingidiot I first read the book as an adult and like yourself I didn't find it terribly compelling on the surface. But what more than redeems it for me is the way Tolkien avoids certain conventions in the way that BumblingIdiot describes. I think it is pretty important that the dwarves do not fight Smaug. Their tremendous lack of heroism and the mess it creates for others is one of the more sophisticated aspects of Tolkien's story. It bothers Jackson that they didn't get to fight Smaug? Isn't that sort of the point? Their shameless passing the buck is supposed to bother you. Yes they are hardy fighters but they are also indifferent and sometimes incompetent. Tolkien shows you both the strengths and the limitations of the values they bring in. They have their moments of greatness but they also have very humiliating moments as well like the barrel escape (which has now evidently been turned into a titillating fight scene). Not having a standard hero vs villain framework or the Sauron plotline to define them, the characters are more free to be the focus of the story and to act in slightly ambiguous ways. And Tolkien is inviting the reader to critically examine their behavior. That sort of conflict is much more adult to me than the corny villain they have inserted into the story or turning every scene into spectacular action sequences. The book is not perfect by any means but it seems like Jackson is throwing away the particular features that do raise it up rather than improving upon them.

I admit this is prejudging but it is hard not to see a trend emerging.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Jun 29 2013, 10:45am

Post #244 of 253 (455 views)
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I get you (contains spoilers) [In reply to] Can't Post

I think there are two parts to this:-

1) Some on the board give the impression that these movies are a fall from grace after the universally acclaimed LOTR films . The reality which we were were reminded of is those acclaimed films were attacked for their emphasis on action, made up scenes and sixth form/high school jeopardy character arcs. That doesn't even get into my concerns just two of many Witch king/Gandalf. Mouth of Sauron/Aragorn. Tolkien's books create strong bonds with their readers and adaptions will always draw criticism.

2) Your point is actually there are substantial reasons for being happy with the first set and not the second to date. Use of CGI and paintily moving pictures rather than models and more location work. I get all of those type of concerns though I love the ethereal look backs of the Prologue and Battle of A. What I think we have to accept however is the LOTR movies were a compression of a complete work. Whereas the Hobbit movies are an expansion of a contracted work. Just look at the key screen of the worms demise with in a page Bard is hailed king and the master starts an argument with him. That kind of key movement demands so much more attention so we capture the full sense of what has happened in the key moment of the book.

3) Made up characters, the first time I watched the movie Azog surviving made perfect sense to me (all that stuff about Zombies was ill informed nonsense) and I feel very confident we will get the Dain Azog pay off in BOFA. On the question of the woodelves. Lets see the movie and then decide but to recast them in the mode of LOTR (how easy to do with Legolas who I am luke warm on in LOTR) rather than the fay business in the book makes perfect sense to me. Tauriel has the capacity to surprise, her allegiances and motives as a woman could lead to her sharing the same fate as Nimrodel, we shall see.

However if we did want the book substantially reimagined I entirely understand how people will end up loving LOTR and not TH. For me I will wait and let it settle but right now though I think it will be the reverse. Just to encapsulate this point within my response that maybe partly due to my lack of commitment to TH the book.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.


Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Jun 29 2013, 4:08pm

Post #245 of 253 (429 views)
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Bilbo Baggins and the thirteen dwarves including Gandalf the Wizard [In reply to] Can't Post

Nah that's not a very good title either. I enjoyed your observations about Peter Jackson spelling things out. Curiously I have a friend who is really irritated by how he does this in LOTR, he is someone who knows the book. My partner was completely baffled by LOTR the movies last fall but loved the Hobbit, he is a brilliant mind and highly successful engineer so calling over simplification for a global multi lingual audience with any of this is very hard. There is definitely going to be some things to all people rather than all things to a small minority.

I was though fascinated by your being affronted by the Sting reveal. Maybe its because I am similar in age to the screen writers but I adored the homage nature of that reveal, It was very sentimental and the troll cave reveal was played out beautifully. We all know how crucial certain elements are in the Hobbit, middle earths history turns on Bilbo sparing Gollum I thought that was done with great pathos. I see these films as a gentle embrace in territory I have become familiar with over a lifetime. I do not buy the cynicism of the three films cash grab or dumbing down and targeting American teenagers. In the end the Hobbit series will be family films bought on DVD and watched by all ages. The fact that the first people to cram into IMAX in the north hemisphere
are teenagers is more to with cinema trends. My daughters view of the first night audience at the BMI IMAX was 50% teenage geeks and 50% middle aged - geeks !

In the end I am quite clear what I see as a labour of love with one or two sections played for the global audience consumption, you see as the delightful children's book turned into another teenage action movie. I think we can agree to differ.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Jun 29 2013, 5:42pm

Post #246 of 253 (418 views)
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I was not 'affronted' [In reply to] Can't Post

by the Sting reveal. I thought it was a bit daft. If they wanted to do a homage they could have shown us Bilbo rooting through the chest to see a glimpse of the Mithril shirt rather than showing us Sting before its actually been on screen. but thats me being nitpicky.
There were some moments when PJ homaged his own films which made me facepalm silently in the cinema. The Gandalf bumping his head on the lamp, and the Bilbo falls and Ring conveniently slips on his finger a la Frodo moment, spring to mind.
'Global audience consumption', what does that mean exactly? that implies a certain compromise a certain pandering to markets or dumbing down at the expense of something important. Global audiences or foreign audiences they still want so watch a faithful adaptation whether they live in Mumbai or Manchester. The book has been translated into about 40 languages.


Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Jun 30 2013, 9:59pm

Post #247 of 253 (441 views)
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Studio and personal positioning [In reply to] Can't Post

There is an article in todays Sunday Times about studios making less films but more "event" cinema, the huge block buster. Event cinema is seen as a reaction to declining DVD sales. I noted the Hobbit Trilogy was excluded from this concern. However PJ know they have to use some of the qualities and movie language to position itself in front of the same audience. I do not need it and neither do you but I understand why he considers it necessary. WB ripped a large number of action scenes from the Hobbit and bombarded the american net works in the days leading up to release. Someone in Hollywood thinks that is how to sell seats. Are they right or wrong who knows but I do understand the environment in which PJ and Co are working. Curiously whereas as my taste in theatre and opera is quite safe I love to push my self with movies watching small intimate films like simple life or ten canoes or bleak pieces like The Road. As a Tolkien fan I suppose I stand outside of my personal vision of how the Hobbit and LOTR should be made and think that certainly with the LOTR its one of the least worse options (look at the truly dreadful adaptions of one day and war horse) that could have happened in my lifetime and whilst there are challenges Frodo, Denethor and the imagining of the eye there are also Gandalf The Grey, Théoden, Grima, Rohirrim and Khazad dum.

Your point about the homages to the LOTR. I thought they were charming, gentle and affecting we are reconnecting with old friends. Once again what I see as sentimental and warming you see as obvious and all bread and circuses. Its quite clear from everything we know about the way these films are being made there is a huge sense of family and reconnection I expect that to get into the films. They are prequals I expect a symphonic
approach to the film making with motifs re appearing, being inverted and reimagined it happens literally with the score it happens with the screen play.

I really do not expect to be challenged by the Hobbit. I know the outcome there is no jeopardy there are two qualities I am looking for. The visualisation of wilder land and travelling through it and now I have seen the first film, which to my surprise has a heart, seeing that heart played out, the co equivalent journeys of Bilbo, Thorin and Gandalf. For me Martin is a far better Bilbo than Elijah was Frodo similarly Thorin and Boromir (Sean has such a distinctive Northern accent I always take him for Sean Bean rather than character whereas Bernard Hill was fine) and I think Sir Ian will be allowed to be more consistent in the Hobbit.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Jul 1 2013, 7:44am

Post #248 of 253 (357 views)
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Homages are perfectly fine [In reply to] Can't Post

if they are subtle, but the ones I noticed were anything but. They were far too self consciously 'cute' for my taste.
Lotr was one of the 'least worst options' because from what I remember, New Line and PJ himself were calling the shots ,not Hollywood. As soon as WB got its claws on the franchise it was bye bye subtle and hello bling.


Noria
Gondor

Jul 1 2013, 4:17pm

Post #249 of 253 (325 views)
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Michelle, a great series of posts.. [In reply to] Can't Post

with which I mostly agree, though I have fewer criticisms of LotR than you do.

Having finally had a chance to read the Empire article, I see little that is upsetting or alarming to me personally. The journalist and I suppose the studio have chosen at this stage to focus on a new and cool aspect of the trilogy, that is Wood Elves, but it seems clear to me that the movie will be about much more than that. And PJ is just pulling the tiger’s tail with his some of his remarks.

One thing I noted is that PJ said something about DoS having less humour than AUJ, that the story is less humourous as it goes along, that the first film was where they tried to capture something of the children’s book and it’s no longer appropriate. Whether we agree with him of not (I do), it looks like DoS and TaBA will be darker in tone.

IMO Jackson doesn’t always get Tolkien, as in Aragorn and the Mouth of Sauron, or at least he opts to go for the cool visual image instead So I admit that the idea of a confrontation between Smaug and the Dwarves makes me wary, but I’ll wait and see how it works out.

I’m a Tolkien fan who prefers LotR and the Silmarillion to The Hobbit. So I’m glad that the film makers have chosen to expand The Hobbit, to tell the story in the context of Middle Earth as a whole, instead of limiting our vision to the smaller fairy tale land of the book. I’m glad that they’re giving us the stories of Bilbo and Thorin and Gandalf within that larger context. I was happy to see Galadriel, Elrond and Saruman and will be happy to see the Woodland Realm of the Elves, including its king, prince and an Elf woman. I look forward to seeing Thrain. I’m interested in Bard’s expanded story and I reserve judgment about the Master of Laketown.

Like the LotR movies and AUJ, I expect to love DoS except for the parts I don’t like.


Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Jul 1 2013, 5:09pm

Post #250 of 253 (310 views)
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Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

and I have been reading your posts which suggest that we tend to approach this sequence of movies in strategically the same way. On the LOTR I have watched the films every year for the last ten years and loved them however I went back and read the books for the first time in ten years last summer and I had a bad reaction. Like you I love all the movies except the bits I do not ! However TTT in particular with its intercutting story line as opposed to the separate journeys of Book 3 and Book 4 felt particularly jagged and like a series of diary entries until HD.

I also appreciate Eleanor Flower who has taken the time and trouble to engage in a proper and very civilised dialogue so I now really understand where she is coming from.

I am very much with the art of the possible and know that the hugely talented cast and $1,000,000 a day expenses meant these films could not be art house or small scale fiction series. PJ's decision to go loud and proud with 48FPS 3D was a no brainer to get everybody back to the cinema. If you film operatically the internals have to be clear and decisive (which is another persons obvious and vulgar). You have to differentiate between Gandalf and Radagast the thirteen dwarves and Messrs Azog and Bolg.

On to DOS I have a blog I run about the films if you PM me I will give you the link where I have been offering my handful of Skype palls my view of where we are going. If Anthony Sher, who I have seen at Bath Theatre Royal and is a superb actor, is Thrain I reckon we will go where I expect. DOS will include the spine of the book again but the back story of Thrain and Gandalf intercutting all the way to the mountain with Bilbo is going to make for a fascinating re invention. My concern is each section can breath before rushing on to the next section. I am cool with set pieces and know why they are there but we need to get to know everybody better in this second film not just Thorin but the other twelve.

Bilbo is now a card carrying member of the company and Martin can focus on showing us the wonder of wilder land through his eyes as well as growing his Tookish side. He is out there now accepted by the Dwarves and may as well get on with things. There will be plenty of opportunity fro him to come to the fore in a typically self depreciating British way and make a difference whilst all the great and good are arguing. That dynamic will culminate in movie 3 but there is a great opportunity with the wood elves to conjure up the same sense of contrast particularly as Thranduil is clearly invested with a greater sense of majesty than the the elven king of the book.

When they went 2 to 3 there was good deal of speculation about extra shooting. My recollection is the winter work in NZ was always going to be ten weeks so I suspect the changes are scattered across all three films and have involved more than the usual number of pickups to tweek emphasis. AUJ was remodelled to produce a bigger ending DOS will flesh out the Thrain back story its possible there is very little change to TABA its just a question of giving everyone a little more chance to have their story told more amply.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.

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